Friday, 28 November 2014

Unboxing: Kingdom Hearts Japanese 2.5 CE

A beautiful collectors item but is it worth the effort?

This is a first for me, but I thought you all might appreciate an unboxing of this Japanese exclusive collectors item. For those unable or unwilling to import this, the EU Collectors Edition (as well as the game collection itself) is due out on the 5th of December exclusive to PS3 and contains a Collector's outer box, Steelbook, Both 1.5 and 2.5 disks a 9" tall Heartless Plushy, Pin and 30 page Artbook which are all pictured below.

 So as my friendly JRPG Admins and any members that come here from the Facebook Group, I am a huge fan of literally any RPG/JRPG/TRPG/SRPG as well as Anime in many formats from world cinema to Disney (totally down to my daughter ….. I swear) so when back in the day I first saw the original Kingdom Hearts announced my mind went into overdrive! RPG styled game play along with using both the characters from one of my personal top 3 series (Final Fantasy) as well as the characters from the Disney movies I wanted it and I wanted it IMMEDIATELY!

Thus began the whirlwind roller-coaster of emotion, sleepless nights and lots of energy drinks. I really hope I can still do it when KH3 launches but I am not as young as I once was XD
As I say I got the game almost as soon as I possibly could saving them pennies, even going as far as doing extra chores (remember I was about 13-14 years old at this point) and no kids want to do extra chores so as you can guess I really wanted to play this!

When I finally managed to get the game home and put it into my ps2 I think I was there for about only 12 hours straight. I was hooked, as soon as I had to turn it off I wanted to switch it back on so as you can imagine I milked the game for all it was worth.  I still play it at times to this date (yes, the same copy I brought back then) since then it’s been the same or there about with KH2 , Birth By Sleep , Dream Drop Distance , Chain of Memories and RE:Coded.  Over the years I have amassed a nice Kingdom Hearts collection ranging from games to limited and collector’s editions as well as key blades, organisation 13 jackets ,figures and play arts. Sadly I was unable to get each version of the Japanese Collectors Edition as this is the biggest of the collections but I aim to have them all.

In this article I’m discussing the most expensive addition to my collection, the Japanese Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Collectors Edition (This goes to show the levels of my obsession! I have 1.5, I have the 1.5 CE  AND I have 2.5 ordered in standard, limited and collectors edition!)  I can’t read Japanese but this edition is worth its price, it has cost me in the region of £350 after customs charges and the like, a hefty price tag but I regret nothing!

Heck, I love the series so much my daughter is named KAIRI!!!

And here I would like to mention one of my all-time favourite DS games “The world ends with you” that finally made an appearance in Dream Drop Distance! This was one of the best things that could have happened for me and even though it was really in a minor capacity it made me very happy to see that it was not forgotten. I can only hope there is another TWEWY title although I am doubtful it will happen I would like to to at least see more references of it in upcoming KH titles and perhaps mentions of other games that I’ve come to love.

So let’s crack on with this beautiful item
When this arrived I opened it to be greeted by a beautiful sight the game in it’s lovely case with gold text reflecting the wonder on my face cast your mind to when you open a chest in Zelda (or click the link Youtube)

Below is a photo of the game case that welcomed me, only now without the plastic protector. As you can see this CE contains both KH 1.5 and 2.5 ReMIX much like the UK edition and the cover box art is beautiful having the “Kingdom Hearts Collectors Pack HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX” in a beautiful gold, sadly my camera doesn’t quite show it but you can make out just about what I mean by the box reflecting. It feels good, looks nice and honestly almost shames any other CE I own and this is only the start. it also has the kingdom hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD remix logos on which adds that little touch more.

The back cover shows both the art work displayed on the inner sleeve and gives some information on the game, the gold and black theme continues to shine through making even the pack a part to look at rather than the blurb section like most other games or CE .
This will be recurring as I continue to go through, but visually and the small little extras are what makes this better than most. The pure amount of artwork amazes me constantly and no corners were cut, each step they try to produce the highest amount of quality they could for this item and the extra item at the end will blow you away quality wise. Its outstanding just like the rest of the CE, I hope you enjoy this and will appreciate the effort even half as much as I do. 

Opening it up reveals a slipcase this time similar to kingdom hearts 1.5 UK slip case box only a lot bigger. This case is almost the same as the out box and remains black only this time with a gold line drawing of Sora, (see left and right images) I think you will agree that it is gorgeous, this theme continues on the spine (below) that is pictured between the images of the front and back ,it’s also worth noting that the all the images on this slipcase have small light indents of the symbols, I personally find this to be very well made, slick and nice to look at.

This little bit of text on the spine of the outer box,  follows the black theme with the symbol inlay, but the title is repeated again on the inner box, I assume that is because most will be displaying over the outer sleeve box just because that gold outline of Sora in my personal opinion is fantastic.

So now we slide out the slip case and we’re treated to yet more artwork this time on a sleeve that, instead the gold images or text has 2 sets of beautiful artwork (pictured) between these stunning images you can see each of the games this collection includes as well as an array of keyblades and the most loved or hated character’s. This was a nice surprise for me and is something I’m going to try to get large prints of as they would look stunning mounted on a wall amongst my games and figures. It’s printed on a sleek glossy card and despite my poor camera’s attempt to make them look less so are they are of an incredibly high quality.  

If we remove the sleeve we’re treated to not one but two things, the case that actually holds the games and the art book (see below) as you can see the art book returns to the gold text and small symbols that have appeared throughout. However this time I’m thankful as my camera has done a better job of showing up the symbols which are a bit on the light side. I’ll move onto the inside in a moment but for now let’s talk about the case that holds the games. This case is again the lovely black cover and coated in symbols this time utilising the gold that has been in most of this to highlight some of the symbols and adds that little bit more to look at.

Ill cover the art book first before moving on to the case as there’s yet more in there (best CE ever as I have already said haha)
Inside the art book (without spoiling it all) there are some lovely images that are some of the most iconic of the Kingdom Hearts series to date, covering the games artwork and the works from this CE and some that I haven’t seen before, I won’t show you every page but I shall leave you with a little taster.

As you can see some lovely images in there with the centre showing a double page image as well as another image of Sora on a throne looking like a boss, as well as the gang taking a rest must have just finished saving the world again. Finally the lovely image of Mickey and Sora in the Sky on one page with the pencil sketch of Sora on the other.

This is one of the best art books I have had the pleasure of owning, it feels well made and the art work is of the highest quality across it’s 30 pages and captures a lot of the themes covered in the story. The pictures below are but a taster of what’s inside here but they are a few of my personal favourites as they show off the memorable characters I met on the journey’s through the Kingdom Hearts universe, can you RE:member them all? Do you have it “memorized”?  But that’s not all it really shows the bonds and the roles each of these characters. All in all I’m very happy with this art book and look forward to the UK edition hopefully bringing it to the UK audience that were unable to acquire this art book and more, but also I’m hoping for different content as though I love this I’m really excited to see even more that we never got to see, perhaps some concept art?

Also I noticed this lovely little extra on the back of the art book it’s only small but it is a great little touch I wasn’t expecting, a small little golden image of Sora in the corner.

Finally we get onto the case that holds the games, as I opened it I was a little confused when I found a small envelope, inside I discovered a multitude of things from the guide books for each game to some codes.  I thought it was nice as it holds the game manuals and all the other bits safely while being a nice item in itself  and sticking to the theme displayed in the rest of the edition,the first image displays the cover of the envelope I mentioned as you see the same theme recurs here and the 2nd picture is the full contents that has the guide books, the guide to the soundtrack, a Square Enix registration card , a registration code for the Online game for Japan  and some bits I can’t make heads or tails of not as previously mentioned I don’t read Japanese. 

And now here we have it the case that holds the 3 disks KH 1.5 , KH 2.5 and the soundtrack, once again the overall theme as been repeated on both game disks to great effect ,my lord it is spectacular they are as beautiful I expected. The disks are black with images of a gold outline of Sora and the symbols, they could not have chosen a better option here in my opinion they are without a doubt the pride of my kingdom hearts collection, and the sound track is no less spectacular displaying a crown made up of the symbols with a silver colour this time. I don’t think any fan would argue this is equally beautiful in fact even with my gloves I didn’t want to touch them to put them straight for the photo as you can see there a little crooked!

BUT WAIT THERES MORE!!!!! This is not the end you also got something else unique to this particular edition and no doubt this will be the pride of another of my collections a Kai Play Arts Figurine of Sora (Valued at £70 by itself)

The 3 pictures below show
  • 1.       The front of the outer box this in itself is in itself also visually appealing and I couldn’t wait to see inside
  • 2.       The left side of the box (open flap) displaying Sora and some information
  • 3.       And finally the inside of the box with the figure

As you can see this figure blew me away with how well it is made, even slightly surpassing the usual high quality of the Play Arts figurines.  
Though I am very happy with this I honestly cant decide if I’m going to enjoy this or the Heartless plushy that’s contained in the UK Collectors Edition. This figurine is incredibly cool but the plushy is  very cute so I think I will display them equally as proudly.

Ultimately this is one of the best editions I have and will likely ever own, it offers a lot more than I was expecting as a collector. As a Kingdom Hearts fan I’m ecstatic and I can’t wait to see what’s to come when Kingdom Heart 3 is revealed fully in gameplay the story and the editions available. Anybody looking to pick this up will likely have to somehow hunt it down and then pay out of the backside for it but I can safely say it’s worth it. I would highly recommend picking this up, and if I had to give this a score as f it were an Otaku game review it would easily be a 10 as this is really above and beyond and if I could pick it up for the RRP in the UK I would have easily got 2 if not 3 of them, absolutely stunning.

Just as a final reminder note, this is the Japanese CE collection and as such is only available from Japan and all manuals and the game are in Japanese. So for non-Japanese speakers this edition is only really for collectors and not players. 

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